Day 7: Yorkton to Binscarth – Welcome to Manitoba

Distance: 126km

Elevation: 500m

After a good night sleep I did my morning routine plus washed my non-cycling clothes. They would dry on the rear rack during the day.

In the night the temperatures fell considerably to about 10 C. I recall that I was actually freezing a little bit.

My neighbor was up early, too. He had started his Harley and kept it running for ten minutes until the entire campground was awake. But nobody cared. Canadians are too relaxed and easygoing to make a fuss about that.

I was on the bike by 8:30am and continued to follow the Yellowhead. Wind and temperatures were gentle, the sun hid behind clouds most of the day.

At noon I had a FaceTime with Tabea, Carolins eldest daughter, who was about to leave for a year to New Zealand as an Au Pair. Another loved one to miss for Carolin. I knew that would be hard for her.

When I ate lunch I had a long call with my wife. The house had just emptied with all the guests leaving. Next to family attending the funeral of Resi, Tabea had seen a lot friends at home to say farewell.

It was hard for her to not have me by her side and it was hard for me not to be there for her. But we were trying to make the best out of it. Day by day.

The final funeral date had not been fixed yet but the proposed dates indicated that I would have to cancel both fundraising events in Toronto and Montreal. I knew that Aaron and Jonathan had been working hard to pull them off and we would need the donations to start supporting NGOs in Ukraine as of next year.

Finding a date that worked for most family members was like solving a puzzle. The timing of my fundraising tour was only one factor to consider.

Doing what’s right felt hard for me. But in any way I would have to live with the consequences and potentially the guilt of choosing charity and my quest over family.

While Carolin was grieving, I found it hard to mourn for myself. I had been unable yet to cry a single tear and to say Good Bye. It all was stuck inside of me.

Maybe this is why I still had a sore stomach?

The only good thing about all this was that we could talk about the situation without her getting aggressive or me getting defensive. I wanted to be there for my soulmate as good as I possibly could and that forced me to stay connected and vulnerable and to not shut down.

After our call, I was sad and hit the road again. My mood lightened up a bit when I crossed the border into Manitoba. After British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatoon, this was my fourth Canadian province.

The landscape changed as I had a valley to cross with a nice climb and the road took some turns.

After 107km I reached Russell which supposedly had a campground. I was ready to call it a day. However, the community had sold the property to a grocery store chain and there was no more campground.

18km later I reached Binscarth which had a campsite with a pool. What a nice surprise! They were officially full. Although the vast empty spaces between the camp spots were enough to fit a second campground by European standards.

I looked at the lady at reception and said “please don’t send me away, Russell campground was closed – I am tired” and they found me a spot.

Then I asked if there was an opportunity to have an ice cold beer. She denied but the gentleman behind me spontaneously invited me for beers at his place.

So I set up my tent, had a nice swim and went for beers at Allan and Pats place. They were retired and had been touring the country for 2 months this time. They were two days away from their home in Ontario.

Allan had been working in construction and Pat used to work in a hospital. They were married for 55 years which had been “a lot of work” as she pointed out.

After an hour or so I thanked both for their hospitality and wandered to my tent. By 9:30pm I passed out when it was still daylight.

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